After finishing down in 16th place last term and losing a big name over the summer, it looked set to be another relegation battle for Brighton in the Premier League this season. Not only have the Seagulls pulled themselves clear of the bottom three in the first half of the current campaign, but now the south-coast outfit has loftier ambitions of qualifying for European football.
Life After White
Following a big-money move for England defender Ben White to Arsenal over the summer, there will have been some supporters concerned about what the 2021/2022 campaign would have in store. Those betting on football will see Brighton are priced at odds of 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table, with the Seagulls earning 29 points from their first 21 games.
Not many football predictions would have expected such a high tally from Brighton at the halfway stage of the campaign and manager Graham Potter will take great credit for that. Much was made of White’s departure to the Gunners, however, Potter has made the transition to life without the Three Lions international look seamless.
In the heart of defence, Potter can call upon a wealth of experience, with the likes of Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy and Dan Burn all playing their part this season. The blend of up-and-coming energy and varying levels of experience is something to be admired through the rest of the squad at the Amex Stadium and it’s something Brighton has been able to achieve over the last few seasons. Never one to splash the cash too heavily in the transfer windows, Brighton are showing the example of what a well-run club can achieve.
Brighton Never Know When They’re Beaten
A real feature of the first half of the season for Potter’s side has been the fact that they will keep battling right up until the final whistle. The Seagulls have made a habit of striking late in games and it’s made them a great watch in the Premier League this season. Draws in December saw Brighton strike in the 89th and 90th minutes against West Ham and Southampton, respectively, with Neal Maupay bagging both goals. Meanwhile, rivals Crystal Palace have also borne the brunt of late comebacks in both their games with Brighton this season.
European champions Chelsea were leading in both their league games against Brighton before Potter’s side responded to earn draws at both the Amex and Stamford Bridge against Thomas Tuchel’s star-studded side. It really is a credit to the spirit in the Brighton squad this season and the confidence they have to push teams right until the final whistle.
It’s fair to say Brighton has been the surprise package over the first half of the season and it will be intriguing to see how far this resilient squad can go in the business end of the campaign.